Tamil Alphabets

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Tamil alphabets consists of 12 vowels and 18 consonants.

Vowels

Apart from 12 vowels we have an additional character ஃ (ak).This character is not a vowel but we use for the sake of our convenience and so we use them among vowels. Vowels are further classified into Short Vowels ( Kuril ) and Long Vowels ( Nedil ).

a Short Vowel
aa Long Vowel
i Short Vowel
ii Long Vowel
u Short Vowel
uu Long Vowel
e Short Vowel
ee Long Vowel
ai Long Vowel
o Short Vowel
oo Long Vowel
au Long Vowel
ak Special Character

Consonents

There are 18 pure consonants in Tamil.

Tamil Consonants Pronounciation Example
க் k kite
ங் ng mango
ச் ch batch
ஞ் eng messenger
ட் it cat
ண் inn sandal
த் th strength
ந் inth Not found in English,but as in Tamil ‘Panthu’
ப் ip flap
ம் im time
ய் iy yolk
ர் ir roll
ல் ll bell
வ் iv van
ழ் izh Not found in English,but as in Tamil ‘Vazhga’
ள் il pull
ற் iR partner
ன் in sin

These 18 consonants are of three kinds. Every letters in pure consonants has a dot on top of it.If the dot is removed it is pronounced with ‘a’ sound

வல்லினம் – Vallinam / Hard

ka
sa
da
tha
pa
Ra

மெல்லினம் – Mellinam / Soft

ya
ra
lla
va
zha
la

இடையினம் – Idaiyinam / Middle

nga
nya
Na
nna
ma
na
  • A word will never begin with the letters like ங , ண , ழ , ள , ற and ன.
  • ஸ்ரீ is a Symbolic character.
  • There is no equivalent for consonant ழ in any other non Dravidian Languages.

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